• 48°

Try natural weed control if you want to avoid sprays

Before

Cooperative Extension A bed of nutsedge weed at the Cooperative Extension Office was the subject of a test on how to get rid of it.

Cooperative Extension A bed of nutsedge weed at the Cooperative Extension Office was the subject of a test on how to get rid of it.

By Jordan Shipton

Cooperative Extension Intern

Weeds can be prickly, poisonous, unsightly, hard to kill and an overall obnoxious pain. Yet, some home owners and gardeners are hesitant to spray chemicals to control these unwanted plants. If the idea of spraying chemicals around your family or food makes you nervous, then perhaps you should consider solarization or plastic mulch as a way to control weeds around your home and garden.

First, let me explain what plastic mulch is, it is merely a sheet of plastic that is laid on the ground to help control weeds. It is used commonly with tomatoes and strawberries at larger farms, such as Patterson Farm.

The color of the mulch can vary, but to kill weeds, I recommend black plastic due to a recent trial conducted at Rowan County Cooperative Extension. To have the best success with solarization, the plastic needs to be used for at least four weeks in the hottest part of the summer.

In the trial, we covered a patch of the weed nutsedge. Half of the patch was covered with black plastic trash bags (we used what was available at the office), and the other half was covered with a clear plastic.

The clear plastic had a greenhouse effect on the nutsedge, causing it to grow larger, while the black plastic killed the weed. This was due to a buildup of heat under the plastic that killed the plants by blocking light, which plants need in order to grow and produce sugars.

So, if you have unwanted weed patches in your yard, try solarization and placing black plastic over the patch and holding it down with some stone, bricks, sticks or whatever is available. Although this method may take a couple more weeks to be effective than the traditional herbicide, it may be worth it to provide you peace of mind by not using chemicals around your family.

This method works best during the summer when the temperatures rise to levels that can kill the weeds. Now, go give solarization a try before the weather starts to cool down, and get your landscape looking top notch for fall.

Comments

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras

Education

Educators reflect on Teacher Appreciation Week

Education

Livingstone College wins $30,000 Home Depot grant

Education

Shoutouts

News

Shield-A-Badge With Prayer program enters 26th year, accepting volunteers to pair with officers

Education

COVID-19 infection, quarantine numbers in Rowan-Salisbury Schools reach new highs

High School

High school football: Offensive line came together for Hornets, who play for state title tonight

Local

Pro baseball: White makes pro debut and says, ‘It felt amazing to be out there’

Education

West Rowan Middle eighth grader wins investment writing contest

Local

YSUP Rowan invites agencies to participate in youth-focused training

Nation/World

US backs waiving intellectual property rules on vaccines

News

As demand drops, Cooper visits vaccine clinic to urge usage

News

NC lawmakers advance bill barring mandatory COVID-19 shots

News

N.C. bill banning Down syndrome abortions nears floor vote

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees 301st death from COVID-19

Coronavirus

N.C. lawmakers advance bill barring mandatory COVID-19 shots

Local

Rowan Public Library joins initiative to help people with digital connectivity

Local

Mocksville to dissolve police department

Crime

Blotter: May 5

Local

Salisbury’s McElroy named top city, county communications professional in state

Local

Locals condemn use of force during 2019 traffic stop of Georgia woman

Kannapolis

Back and better than ever: Cannon Ballers kick off inaugural season in Atrium Health Ballpark